New York City police just announced it’s safe to enter Times Square again after investigating a suspicious package that led to it being evacuated for the second time in a week. The package was found to be a soft-sided cooler filled with water bottles.
No buildings were evacuated, but several streets were cleared of pedestrians and cars were turned away while the bomb squad investigated the reported package. Once it was deemed harmless, the yellow tape cordons were removed and traffic was allowed to return to the normally busy streets.
The cooler was found a few blocks away from where the firecracker and propane-loaded SUV was parked in Times Square last Saturday. Police and residents have been on heightened alert since that was reported, with CNN saying reports of suspicious packages have increased 30% since that day.
I’m not going to remark on whether someone was foolish to call in a soft-sided cooler. That’s too easy and too easily misinterpreted to boot. If I were in the PR department of a water bottling company, I’d be a little tense, though. One clear shot of your brand, and it’s a safe bet some late-night talk show host will use your company’s good name in a joke about your quality. The claim that all publicity is good publicity only works when they don’t know your name.
Fortunately for them, the video of the policeman carrying the cooler only shows it with its zipper closed.